After years of hard work and sacrifice, you have been able to accumulate a great deal of wealth. Although you would like to pass your estate on to your family, the reality is that, without proper planning, you may end up giving a significant portion of your hard-earned assets to the government in the form of transfer taxes.
To ensure you pass as much of your estate as possible to your heirs, it is important to spend some time planning for the conservation and distribution of your wealth.
With the assistance of an attorney, you can design and implement an estate plan which may help accomplish your objectives.
Once you have determined your estate planning goals, it is very important to select the proper tools and techniques to carry out your estate plan. These techniques include, but are not limited to, wills, trusts, distribution arrangements, liquidity planning, irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs).
By properly designing a plan that incorporates these tools, most people can reduce (or eliminate) paying federal estate taxes at the first spouse’s death, and also have the necessary liquidity to pay any estate taxes and settlement costs due at the surviving spouse’s death.
Oftentimes, this can be accomplished by using the unlimited marital deduction, creating a B-Trust (or credit shelter trust), or transferring the decedent spouse’s exemption using portability and establishing an ILIT.
Asking the right questions: Since no family is identical, every estate plan is different. Some questions to discuss your estate include:
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